It´s ten p.m. and I am still in my PJ. For my defence, I am already doing my make- up fully aware that I have to be in Niall´s bar in thirty minutes. This whole week has its effect on me and I am feeling terribly bad. Partly because I miss James and partly because I don’t miss him as much as I should. I know that going out with Harry isn’t exactly the rightest thing to do. However he is the only one who can make me forget about things I massively crave forget. I don’t know how I feel about him though. I ask that question to myself too often. And I haven´t found the answer yet. Maybe it´s an effect that men have on women. The feeling of being safe, being under protection of someone who cares. Deep down I know there is also physical affection. Maybe I just feel lonely and this all comes to my head too heightened. Shit, it´s 10:13. I should really put some clothes on.
As I stepped inside, I don’t see him anywhere. I seem like a lost puppy right now. My shoulders fall down as I sigh heavily. I shouldn’t have hurried that much and could have found better shoes than these. I look down and observe my high-heeled black boots I use to wear to my best dress. These dark jeans suited to them at home. Crap. I should stop acting so girly right now when I will be smashed in 25 minutes. Well, when Harry actually comes. I decide to walk to the bar and order something ahead. I quickly recognise the back of the man in front of me. He suddenly turns to the counter and puts the bottle of Jameson back to its place on shelf. I smile at him as he notices me.
“Hi Niall” I give him a friendly wave and lay my head on the counter on my folded hands.
“Noell, hey! What brings a woman of your profession to the place like this?” he laughs and leans against the fridge with soft drinks.
“Huh, profession…Don’t act like I have never been here before. And for your information I know the owner” I grin and then laugh at him. He joins me and hands me a bottle of whiskey.
“What-“ I furrow my eyebrows.
“Here, enjoy it with whoever you came with” Niall smiles at me. This is actually too much to take.
“Don’t be a pussy and take it. Harry loves Jameson” he adds and breaks the silence. How does he know Harry is my drinking buddy tonight?
“How did you-? Err. Thank you then?” I say hesitantly and take the bottle to my right hand. Niall just laughs again and mumbles something. Then he goes to the back and I realise he has a work to do and I am just distracting him. I look around and realise I don´t know anyone here.
“I am so sorry” Harry suddenly appears next to me still wearing the coat. His hair is wet and I assume it´s still raining outside.
“Don´t worry. Niall made me company” I add and smile at him. Why is he so tall? Ok I am sitting now but still. Harry laughs and looks at the bottle I am holding.
“Apparently” he adds and points at my right hand.
I just giggle and take my coat from the chair next to I am sitting so he could join me. Harry suddenly wrinkles his forehead.
“Let´s go sit somewhere else. I hate being this close to where all the magic happens” he clarifies his face expression and his large hands waves around the counter.
“Okey, I don’t care where we end this bottle” I mumble to myself and stand up.
“Is it that bad?” Harry replies when I had no idea he heard it. I just sigh and follow him through the bar.
We both sit and put our coats on one pile. When I am ready to open the bottle I realise we have no glasses.
“I´ll go get some glasses” I add and stand up when Harry´s hands stop me.
“You look like we can´t wait for some silly glasses. This is an emergency so we have to drink right from the bottle” he states seriously and I giggle with a nod. Harry takes the bottle and opens it easily. Then he takes a sip and hands me the bottle. He doesn’t even make a face when he sipped. He is tough.
“You have the privilege to take two sips in one row” he adds when I gulp loudly.
“So spill it out” he folds his hands and raise one eyebrow when I take the second sip.
“Is it really necessary?” I state and smile nervously. Every time Harry does this thing, when he sounds like he cares about me and my answers I get nervous. I am not used to being the one who answers. I am usually the one who asks. Like right now. I giggle at my own joke silently.
“Ok. So three sips in a row” Harry ads and smiles at me. I see he is just messing with me, but I won´t talk off.
After a moment I feel my head spinning, my legs feel jelly and my eyes see things twice. So it finally came. That feeling of weightless.
“Harry, hey!” someone suddenly appears behind Harry and puts his arm on his shoulder. Wait, it´s a woman with long brown hair, dark eyes and eyebrows, and slightly dark skin. From where I am sitting I can tell she´s wearing high heels. Harry just turns back and she gives him a hug when he stands up. She looks like a top model compared to me, not that tall and actually drunk executive.
“Kathrine” he adds while keeping the grip.
“What are you doing here?” he asks her.
“I have some errands here in London” she replies in her American accent. She runs her hand through her perfectly straightened hair with a wide smile. She looks happy to see him. I wonder how they know each other.
“I am sorry. This is Kathrine, my friend from LA and Kathrine, this is Noell” Harry smiles at both of us. Why he didn’t add something after my name like he did with Kathrine? I mean, this Noell my very good friend from Queensborough or something. I don’t like it.
I smile politely and wave with my left hand. She does the same and flips her hair behind her shoulder.
“Do you want to have drink with me and Jenny? You know Jenny from that yacht …” She smiles at him even more and points at the girl standing by a bar. Blond girl with too long legs. What a surprise. What does she mean by having a drink with them? I suddenly feel even more awkward. The smell of whiskey brings me nausea. I had enough for today.
Harry´s eyes meets mine and I just look down. He sighs and shakes his head.
“No, we´re good” he adds and looks at me again if I approve his answer. I just smile at him. Kathrine apparently notices us.
“Ok then. I´ll call you next time first and don’t you dare to refuse me” she states and pokes him with her thin forefinger. Harry chuckles and gives her a nod.
“Alright then” he adds with a smile. Kathrine suddenly hugs him and smile at me behind Harry´s shoulder.
“It was nice meeting you, Noell. Ok, I gotta go, Jenny looks confused. Bye” She states and walks away. Now I see what she was wearing. High wasted skirt with naked belly and cropped shirt with collar to neck.
“Thank you” I add and put my hands on my temples.
“For what?” Harry asks and leans closer to me.
“For staying here with me” I reply and move closer as well.
“You´re welcome then” Harry adds and I feel his whiskey breath on me. We are both drunk, maybe me even more and I want to do something. My head is saying no but my body is saying yes. What now? Should I really kiss him and then decide I won´t do it again ´cause it felt awkward? Or should I step back and leave as soon as possible?
“Do you want to go somewhere else?” Harry asks all of sudden and I am taken aback with his question. I don’t know how to react because the blood in my head is pounding and I actually don’t have strength to say something. So I just nod and look for my coat. Harry´s smile gets widen and he reaches for his coat as well.
We are sitting in the back of a black cab aiming somewhere I don´t know where.
“Where are we going?” I ask one more time but harry again shakes his head.
“Why don’t you tell me?” I add and laugh.
“I haven’t seen you this drunk so far” Harry adds and leans against the seat. His sent is tickling my nose and I feel more comfortable now. It just calms me down. It´s funny because he has told the direction to the driver but I am at this drunk point that words don´t make sense to me at all. I just giggle and look at Harry. He is fully focused on the window view so I can watch him without being coughed. He looks sober, still keeping his serious himself even when my head is spinning like a whirl. His presence makes me safe right now, like whatever happen he would be still here, in his dark coat with the warmth coming out of it and his words that make everything better.
“We´re here” Harry states and opens the door. I haven’t even realised we had stopped. I follow Harry and look around. But then my eyes meet the bridge. It´s Albert Bridge which connects Chelsea and Kensington. This is the exact spot where James ended his life and ruined mine. Tears start to fall down my cheeks and I just let them. Quietly watching the construction of the Albert Bridge, Harry suddenly stands next to me.
“What´s wrong?” His eyes are trying to find mine in the streams of tears.
I don’t respond or even look at him, I just take a breath and quickly turn back to see if the cab is still there. I notice Harry´s scared face watching me eating myself alive.
“I have to leave. I need to go home, Harry…” I murmur and make a few more turns around.
“Noell, hey, what´s going-“ I don’t even let him finish being the friend to me. His hands are holding mine wrists gently but I quickly step back.
“I. NEED. TO. GET. OUT!” My voice cracks in the middle, my eyes are burning from the crying but my head know exactly what I am saying. I can´t let him be around me. This is too personal, too heavy for one person to carry but I just can´t let him.
Harry´s arms fall beside his body like he got frozen. I can tell he is taken aback with my reaction by his widen eyes. He evidently doesn’t know what to do. Nor do I.
“Ok. I call you a taxi-“ He adds softly and makes a few steps closer to me.
I am suddenly scared by my own reaction and the only thing that comes to my mind is to sit on the cold concrete. I do so and bury my face to my hands. My breath suddenly slows down and I feel much better than before. I feel a move around me and a shoulder touching mine. Harry´s long fingers suddenly make a few circles around my knee.